Labour Inspections

What does the law say about Labour Inspections in Tanzania? How often can there be Labour Inspections? Who does the Labour Inspections? Find out on



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What is inspection under the Labour Institution Act, 2004?

Inspection may be explained as the act of investigating the workplace done by a Labour Officer to foresee whether there is compliance with labour laws by the employer. A number of laws empower certain officials to conduct inspections at workplaces. This article will focus on inspection done by Labour Officers mandated to administer and enforce labour laws under the Labour Institutions Act, No 6 of 2004.

Can a Labour Officer visit a workplace for inspection without giving prior notification?

Yes. The Labour Officer does not need to give prior notification, as for them to be able to find out information, they need to make surprise visits. If prior notice is given the employer is likely to prepare for the visit and possibly hide some things which are contrary to the law. The law only requires the inspection to be done within a reasonable time. However the law requires Labour Officers to have a prescribed certificate of authorisation.

Can the Labour Officer take books, information and more away during inspection?

The Labour Officers may search for and examine any information, book, document or object and if available/appropriate, to seize them for further observation. They may also take a sample of any object found, take measurements, readings, recordings or photographs and question any person on the premises. In the event of any documents, book or object removed, the Labour Officer is required to issue a receipt acknowledging the same.

My employer was summoned by the Labour Officers but has refused to meet them.  Is there any penalty?

Section 45 (1) (b) mandates the Labour Officer with powers to order any person to appear before them at a specified date, so that the person can be questioned. These persons may also be required to furnish any information, book, document or object and explain any entry contained therein. In the event of refusal by the employer to appear before the Labour Officer or to produce any information or document the Labour Officer may institute proceedings in the Resident or District Court in the name of the Labour Commissioner. Several offences committed in relation to Labour Officers including hindering or obstructing a Labour Officer in performance of or in exercising their powers have been listed under section 49 of the Labour Institutions Act, 2004

What is the Labour Officer mandated to do if it is discovered there is no compliance with labour laws in a workplace?

When a Labour Officer has a reasonable grounds to believe an employer has not complied with the labour laws he will be required to issue a Compliance Order. The same may be issued to any registered trade union and all employees affected by it. An employer may within 30 days of receipt of the Compliance Order in writing object to the order by serving the same to the Labour Commissioner. The employer who has not raised any objection to the compliance order will be required to comply to the order and failure to do so may result into the Labour Commissioner applying to the Labour Court for compliance to that order.

What if after considering representations in the objection the Commissioner refuses to accept the employer’s objection?

If the objection is refused by the Labour Commissioner, an employer may appeal to the Labour Court. The Labour Court may on such terms and such conditions suspend the order of the Labour Court pending its final decision/order. The Labour Court may confirm, modify or cancel an order of the Labour Commissioner. 

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